Tomás Ó Sé’s own story

The White Heat: My Autobiography by Tomás Ó Sé (Gill & Macmillan 2015) The narrative in this autobiography is simple and direct, the way Tomás played his football: An Módh Díreach, as he himself would put it. Another refreshing aspect of it is the paucity of expletives. Notoriously his uncle Páidí’s autobiography was vitiated by an overload…

The tarnished greatness of Archbishop Mannix

The Real Archbishop Mannix from the Sources by James Franklin, Gerald O. Nolan and Michael Gilchrist (Connorcourt Publishing, AUS$29.95) Twelve biographies of Archbishop Daniel Mannix have already been published. They range from the hagiographic to the critical. The authors justify this addition to the list on the grounds that it is an account of Mannix based…

Padre Pio, the people’s saint

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina: a brief biography by Fr Francesco Napolitano (Columba Press, €14.99) Padre Pio was canonised by Pope John Paul II on June 16, 2002, to the great delight of his many devotees around the world, especially here in Ireland. Francesco Forgione, the new saint, was born in the village of Pietrelcina, near…

An Irish woman’s first hundred years

A Century of Life… Imagine That! by Máire Godfrey (Impress Printing, €15.00hb; contact mairegodfreyacenturyoflife@gmail.com). The provenance of this book is unique. It was written by Mrs Máire Godfrey as part of the celebrations to mark her 100th birthday. Owing to the extraordinary developments in medicine and the remarkable enhancement of physical and social conditions, the elderly…

A discussion of the revolutionary years in Waterford from 1912 to 1923 requires at the outset an appreciation of the extraordinary influence of John Redmond (1856-1918) on the city and county. Redmond represented Waterford in the House of Commons from 1891 to 1918 and led the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1900 to 1918. By his…

Up for the match in every way

My Sporting Life By Jimmy Deenihan (Red Hen Publishing, €20 / £16.50) There is a unique link between politics and sport in Ireland. This is nowhere more apparent than in this autobiography by Jimmy Deenihan. Appropriately entitled ‘My Sporting Life’, it charts his successful transition from the playing fields to Leinster House and eventually ministerial office.…

The politics of a patriot priest in 1848

Father John Kenyon: The Rebel Priest By Tim Boland (Published by the author, ISBN: 9781901370362; €20.00 / £17.50) This is a splendid biography of the mercurial Father John Kenyon, a patriotic priest who should be better known today than he is. Kenyon was born on May Day 1812 in Limerick city. He was educated locally, entered…